The Idiots Guide: How To Grow Carrots, Indoors, Outdoors, Growing Carrots
Growing carrots from seeds is very simple. All garden suppliers will carry a stock of carrot seeds. Each very cheap packet will usually contain over 1000 seeds. But do not expect to grow 1000 carrots from each packet, nothing is that simple.
How to grow carrots from seeds can become difficult if you start to explore alternative varieties as well as early or main-crop. So for the idiots guide, go for any type of carrot seed and we'll make it grow into a bright orange vegetable to be proud of.
Remember. As a root vegetable, the carrot can only grow as deep as the soil. If planting in a small window box, expect to harvest smaller but possibly fatter carrots. If planting in a large deep large bag, your crop may be long and slim.
Keep planted carrot seeds in the house if planting early, room temperature is more favourable than sticking them outside and being hit by a late frost.
Plant carrot seeds in seed trays, baking trays, even old shoe boxes. There is no need to be extravagant and spend a fortune on special seed trays. Between March and April are ideal planting times for carrots.
Simply get some compost, preferably not the cheapest from the local garden centre, but a mid priced range compost, one without large pieces of twig in it.
Dead Cheap Carrot Seeds
Place about 1 - 2 inches of compost in your selected container. Get the packet of carrot seeds and begin to thinly sprinkle the seeds over the soil.
NB. The word thinly means spread the seeds sparsely, putting to many in one area will result in the death of many seedlings later on, possibly called carrotside.
It may be best to allow approximately 2 seeds to every 1 centimeter square.
Cover the seeds over with a thin covering of soil or compost and leave by a window. Water every two days with a light spray of water and ensure the soil is almost moist, NOT WET.
Simple Seed Trays
Do not be discouraged if you come down the next day and nothing has grown. These are carrot seeds not magic beans.
The seeds may take up to 14 days to begin to sprout, mainly depending upon the temperature of the room.
Keep them by a window so as any sun can warm them up. The seeds will grow at different rates, just like children.
So some seedlings will appear quite quickly, whilst other lazy seeds will pop up when they feel like it. The next stage of growing carrots for idiots is the most hazardous, tricky, and awkward part of growing carrots.
This is the process in which you can kill half of your carrot crop if you have fingers like fat sausages.
Once the carrot seeds have become seedlings, they need to be separated. This is called thinning.
Each seedling needs to be replanted into their final resting place. This could be a window box made out of old pallets, the ground, or even an old builders bucket.
Carrots are quite hardy and like potatoes, can grow almost anywhere.
If planting in a container like a bucket: Dig up some soil, or use compost, remove any large stones and drop soil into the container. Do not compress the soil. Drill some holes first for drainage.
If planting in the ground: Dig over the soil to a depth of about 15 inches. This could be hard work, so get the kids to do it. Tell them there is buried treasure somewhere below the ground and they will dig for hours. The soil needs to be loose and not compact.
Once the seedlings have got their first lot of small leaves, it is then time to thin them out and plant them properly.
Carefully and ever so gently, push up the bottom of the seeds tray to loosen the soil around the seedling. DO NOT simply pull the seedling out of the soil, this is called murder as the carrot will usually die.
Gently prize the seedling from the soil. It does not matter if there is soil attached to the seedling or not. The objective is to get individual seedlings on their own.
Stick your finger in the soil or compost where you want the carrot to be to a depth of about 2 cm. Then simply drop in the seedling and gently compress soil around the stem of the seedling to keep it standing up. Try not to bend the root.
NB: GENTLY. Rough handling of carrots improves the chances of your harvest producing nothing.
Once all your carrots have been planted, the waiting time begins. Ensure that they have enough water at all times.
In the interest of being impatient, most people will pull up a few carrots now and then to check on their growth. This is normal behavior and there is no need to panic. Talking to carrots has never been proven to improve their growth rate, but if you like talking to orange vegetables, knock yourself out.
Early harvest for carrots is June, whereas July through to October will provide a larger crop of fat and juicy carrots.
From June, it is always best just to dig up the carrots as and when required. Your crop will have a certain number of deformed carrots, but that is just life.
These carrots are not to be discarded, but could be put in the pot with the normal carrots, after being subjected to some ridicule for their deformity.
Growing carrots is actually a fun way to introduce gardening to children. Growing their own fresh food supply in contrast to the soaring prices of vegetables in supermarkets is brilliant.
Your harvest may not be the uniformed type of carrot found in supermarkets. But yours will be fresh and very tasty.